“I was a 13 year old boy for 30 years.” (Mickey Rooney)
In 1939, the year of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz, Time magazine noted, “Hollywood’s No. 1 box office bait in 1939 was not Clark Gable, Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power, but a rope-haired, kazoo-voiced kid with a comic-strip face, who until this week had never appeared in a picture without mugging or overacting it. His name (assumed) was Mickey Rooney, and to a large part of the more articulate U. S. cinema audience, his name was becoming a frequently used synonym for brat.”
At the same time, the fact that the peak of his success came when he was so young has helped obscure the fact that he has acted in 10 different decades. Rooney is one of the only actors who worked in the silent film era, yet he recently appeared in 2012’s Last Will and Embezzlement. In the process Rooney has been awarded a Juvenile Academy Award, an Honorary Academy Award, two Golden Globes, and an Emmy Award.